Indian athletes to lose on home advantage: CGF CEO Hooper

New Delhi: Delay in the completion of the Commonwealth Games venues will rob the Indian athletes of the vital home advantage, Commonwealth Games Federation CEO Mike Hooper said.

Hooper, who visited the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium, venue for Games` opening and closing ceremonies, said that players are losing out on getting a hang of the stadiums and that will hurt India`s medal prospects.

"They are going to lose on vital home advantage. They should have been given access earlier. Their medal prospect will get affected," Hooper said.

"Venue handovers have been missed on various occasions and that`s not a new thing. But I`ll say, don`t look back, look ahead. It`s time to put our foot right. It`s time to look ahead," said Hooper.

Delhi had promised that most facilities for the Games would be completed by the end of last year. That deadline was extended to March 31 and then to June 30.

Three pivotal projects - the main Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the aquatic complex and the athletes` village – all missed the June deadline.

On the issue of a young swimmer Priyanka Banerjee tripping on a loose grill and hurting herself at a Test event at the Talkatora stadium, now called S P Mukherjee stadium, Hooper said such incidents need to be redressed immediately.

"I heard that a swimmer hurt her ankle. You need to look into all those things. Correct it," he said.

The Test event, National Federation Cup, was held to demonstrate that the swimming complex was Games-ready.

Hooper, however, refused to react on the Central Vigilance Committee report which pointed at rampant corruption in the construction of stadiums.

"I have no idea about that. I heard that CVC is looking into it. It`s not a matter with CGF," he said.

The CVC report cites instances of corrupt practices in awarding stadium construction contracts to companies. The report clearly points at rampant corruption in the contracts.

On the remodelled Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium, which is holding a three-day Asian Athletics meet, Hooper said, "It`s an impressive venue with lot of improvement made in 6-8 weeks. It`s going well."


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